WONDERFUL WHISPERS!

whispers 9 Are you brave enough to embrace pure happiness?

What an absolutely marvelous time we had!

My Beloved and I took several days off this week…to recharge…to refresh…to celebrate our September holidays (our wedding anniversary is  on the 21st & my birthday on the 17th). My Sweetheart has a fabulous knack for finding wonderful “getaways” and he hit a home run at Whisper’s Ranch Bed and Breakfast outside Elgin, Arizona, 8 miles from the Sonoita Vineyards where there are lots of wine tasting opportunities! http://www.whispersranch.com

whispers 2whisperswhis b & bIt combined all the things I love so much…peace, flowers, water, critters, and people who dedicate their lives to good cause!

It was beautiful…whis fireplace

Full of delightful touches…whispers 4whispers 6The owner, Toni Leo, is a remarkable woman with a huge heart who devotes herself to providing sanctuary  whispers 1for aging horses , goats,whis goatsburros, whis donkeygeese, and dogs who have been given up by others. Whisper’s Sanctuary is a 501 (c) (3) that the B & B helps to support.  Toni is a psychologist with a full practice in Sierra Vista who miraculously keeps Whisper’s afloat after the sudden death of her husband.

Toni specializes in providing vegan and allergy-free foods for her guests and an atmosphere at the B & B that reflects her compassionate values.

The atmosphere is soooo relaxing–each room has a private bathroom. You can rent the whole house if you want to bring your family or a group of girlfriends. Check out the website and go visit…tell Toni that Albert & Kait sent you!

This is what we experienced:

whis oak

huge oaks, amazing thunderheads, whis thunderheadand a great time at nearby Parker Lake…where there are kayaks (and you know how I LOVE kayaks!) and little boats to rent.

“Let your line out a little, relax your grip, give yourself some slack” these are the instructions for fishing (and life!)…whis lakeThere were oodles of flowers whis flowersand dragonflies glittering around the edge of the lake…whis dragonfly

 

We spent hours invested in sacred idleness whis kait 3

and found an amazing little creek whispers 14 whis kaitwhere we splashed and laughed and acted like silly kids! whispers 13whispers 18

We visited Black Oak Cemetary where local ranching and cattle families have buried their own for decades, paying homage in special ways to their traditions. whispers 10whispers 11Look what we were able to see and do and experience in just a few days away…not half way around the world, not at huge expense, not tethered to electronics, but in the beautiful, monsoon green, backcountry of Southern Arizona!

So, this is my advice to you–Slow Down and Let Your Soul Catch Up!whis kait 2

 

“I hope you will go out and let stories happen to you,

and that you will work them,

water them with your blood and tears and laughter

till they bloom,

till you yourself

burst into bloom.”

Clarissa Pinkola Estes

whispers 19

 

Allow yourself to be supported by the universe!

© Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows, 2014. All Rights Reserved.

 

WAG MORE, BARK LESS!

“Your dog loves you even when you stay in your jammies & fuzzy slippers all day.

Your dog loves you even when you act goofy and dance like a crazy person and give him a bath with pink bubbles.

Your dog loves you, even though.”

Says Bella, my 7 year old granddaughterGus In BedDontcha just love that bumper sticker, Wag More, Bark Less–you’ve probably seen it on someone’s bumper when you’ve been trapped in traffic, late for an appointment, on a day full of appointments,  when you’re just about ready to snarl!  I hope it made you smile like it did me!  merrillMy friend Merrill and I recently had to remind some folks in an organization we belong to that being nice should be its own reward. She came up with this “wag more” theme…and I’m just going to run with it here cuz it fits my life at the moment!  My hope in sharing my story is that it might resonate with you!

66th BirthdayI’m an over achiever. There. I said it out loud. I have 312 colored balls in the air at any given moment and, sometimes, as though that’s not enough, I try to spin a few delicate, china plates on a stick while I’m at it.  I’m full of boundless enthusiasm for life, filled with endless curiosity, blessed with lots of energy, amply able to multi-task, and forever convinced I can “do it all.”

So, besides a nursing career, a Beloved husband, a wonderful home & garden (with all it takes to keep it going!), and a dozen hobbies; I run my own business (The Creative Cottage), give art classes, do counseling sessions, mentor the Girlz With HeART Program, serve on the boards of several organizations, practice archaeology, convene a writing circle, and try to cultivate my own spiritual life. we can do it

But, recently, I volunteered to take on an important task for a great group. No big deal. I’ve done this sort of thing all my life. If somebody needs me or can use my skills or is in a jam–I’ll be there! But this time, almost from the first day I volunteered, the task got crazy and out of hand. Nothing went right. Obstacles kept popping up. People didn’t respect deadlines. Communication broke down. I spent hours and hours (and hours) working on the project, but it seemed to hit wall after wall. Totally frustrating! Finally, even me, Susie Sunshine, crashed in a heap, exhausted, frazzled, and MAD! Yes, you read that right, I was MAD–at people who bark and bite and apparently didn’t get the “wag more” memo. But I was really mostly mad at myself.

Why do I do this to myself? Why do I take on so much? Why do I think I have to do so much? Why do I always put almost everything else in the whole world ahead of ME! Waaaaay beyond the call of duty. All by myself, late at night, after a full day of other obligations! Why? Because I don’t want to “bother” any one. Because it needs doing and nobody else stepped up. Because I am an over achiever.

uniqueSo what’s the “take home” from this? It’s time for me to really LIVE what I tell you all so often. YOU ARE ENOUGH! YOU DO ENOUGH! SLOW DOWN! BREATHE! TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF! BE AS KIND TO YOURSELF AS YOU ARE TO OTHERS! Simple huh? No big deal. Everybody knows that! Not me, apparently! But I promise to keep it in mind from now on! I promise.

In celebration of this epiphany (and to celebrate our wedding anniversary!) my Sweetheart and I are going to the Whisper’s Ranch Bed and Breakfast in Elgin for a few days later this week. He’s even rented kayaks for us (after I fell in love with kayaking at my sister’s in June!)…my friend Karen is going to check in on our critters and water anything that gets droopy in the garden (THANK YOU!)…and I am going to just let myself ENJOY LIFE for a few days! Watch for me to wag more! And please remind me if I forget!

© Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows, 2014. All Rights Reserved.

 

LIFE IS PRECIOUS And FRAGILE!

saguaroMoon_seip800

“Please, don’t worry so much. Because in the end, none of us have very long on this Earth. Life is fleeting. And if you’re ever distressed, cast your eyes to the summer sky when the stars are strung across the velvety night. And when a shooting star streaks through the blackness, turning night into day… make a wish and think of me. Make your life spectacular.” ~ Robin Williams in the movie Dead Poets Society

Life is full of changes. Unexpected twists. And turns. Ups. And downs. Surprises. Some good. Some not so. Despite our best laid plans. Out of the blue.

This last week we had the most spectacular moon and meteors. And we lost Robin Williams.

War, famine, plagues. Floods, fires, disasters.

But also time in the garden with my wonderful dog Gus. kt & gus in gardenOur beautiful cardinal Claudio singing in the mesquite. claudioAnd my Beloved Albert belovedand I kt in the irisliving our happy, quiet life, working in our own small ways to make the world a better place.

We use this model from the  Syracuse Cultural Workers:

How to Build a Community

turn off your tv

leave your house

know your neighbors

greet people

look up when you’re walking

sit on your front steps

plant flowers

use your library

play together

buy from local merchants

share what you have

help a lost dog

take children to the park

honor elders

support neighborhood schoools

fix it even if you didn’t break it

have pot lucks

garden together

pick up litter

read stories aloud

dance in the street

talk to the mail carrier

listen to the birds

put up a swing

barter for your goods

start a tradition

hire young people for odd jobs

organize a block party

bake extra and share

ask for help when you need it

sing together

share your skills

take back the night

turn up the music

listen before you react to anger

mediate a conflict

seek to understand

learn from new and uncomfortable angles

know that no one is silent though many are not heard

That’s all we can do…plus embracing life as the magical, joyous, inspiring thing it is! And remembering every single second what a precious, fragile thing it is!

Hang in there…live in gratitude, spread joy, be helpful to others, protect the planet, and LOVE ONE ANOTHER!

Love Kaitlin

© Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows, 2014. All Rights Reserved.

CELEBRATING OUR TRIBE!

 

Albert flowers“Inside you there’s an artist you don’t know about…say yes quickly, if you know, if you’ve known it from the beginning of the universe.” Rumi

Everyone who comes to the Creative Cottage knows that I believe in telling our messy, complicated, beautiful stories without editing or apology. I love creating a safe place where we can do that. I am so pleased that the women who are drawn to The Cottage seem to love sharing their stories. While we make art, we spend time talking about out lives, our loves, our challenges and our triumphs. We are respectful, encouraging, compassionate, caring, attentive listeners…we cry, we laugh, we share advice, we exchange recipes for life, AND we make art!Lucy Copper 2

“There are very few human beings who receive the truth, complete and staggering by instant illumination. Most of them acquire it fragment by fragment on a small scale, by successive developments, cellularly, like a laborious mosaic.” Anais NinCome On In And Join The Fun!

In our little circles at The Cottage, we learn to trust, share our hearts, ask for help, offer solace, and celebrate our friendship. We make art and we learn to live life more creatively.

“The primary benefit of practicing art, whether well or badly, is that it enables the soul to grow.” Kurt Vonnegut

Lucy's Paste

Over the last couple of weeks, our Cottage kinship circle has shared the loss of a loved one, the complications of relationships, a fabulous new job, sudden illness of a parent, a new grand child, a broken heart, and learning to dance in public. We’ve worked together on the Girlz With HeART Project,  visited friends in the hospital, donated dozens of hours to various fabulous causes, and MADE ART! Gogi Book

Here are some examples from the Steampunk Divas class…sp 1 sp 2sp 5 ritasp 6 carolynsp 8 pollysp cissy

Thank you dear Creative Cottage friends for adding so much joy and laugher and tenderness and friendship to my life…and sharing so many wonderful stories!

Blooming!

“I tell you, the more I think, the more I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people. Vincent Van Gogh

©Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows, 2014. All Rights Reserved.